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63 and worried about heart disease - why aren't my doctors?

Apr 6, 2008

I was diagnosed last year, a little after my 63rd birthday. The diagnosis really freaked me out because Im already dealing with heart disease -- hypertension, high cholesterol some signs of coronary artery disease. And Ive heard HIV meds are likely to make my heart disease even harder to manage. My cardio doc doesnt seem to have a clue how HIV and HIV treatment might affect my heart, and my HIV doc says he's not worried at all about the risks of heart disease. But weirdly, their non-concern just makes me more worried. Do my doctors need to be conferring or are these issues that can be looked at one at a time?

Response from Dr. Moyle

Knowing something is there helps doctors manage it better. Knowning about your HIV and heart disease means both things can be well managed . When there is a complicated enough medical history it is important that you doctors work together and communicate closely. Untreated HIV and some HIV treatments may impact the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Interactions between drugs may mean the effectiveness of some treatments may be impacted and the risk of some side effects may be increased. Knowing your medications for heart disease will enable your HIV doctor and cardiologist to adjust medication doses as needed when HIV treatment starts and will influence you HIV doctor to choose HIV meds that are though effective to mamange your HIV with the least impact on your cardiovascular risk. Doctors in HIV and cardiology are increasingly used to dealing with these situations, working together they can do the best for both problems

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